The 'flop' that changed the world
A young man named Dick Fosbury caused a major stir at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico.
Up until then, conventional wisdom dictated that there were only two ways to jump over the bar.
The first was to dive over (hands first followed by the rest of the body) and the second was to hurdle over (you know like a hurdler).
If you wanted to be a top high jumper, then you were wise to know everything you could about these two methods.
But Dick was a bit different.
As a medical student, he knew a great deal about how the human body was constructed.
It struck him that the smartest way to jump over the bar was not by diving or hurdling, but by jumping over with his back to the bar.
He set about developing his new technique which came to be known as the ‘Fosbury Flop’.
Eventually, he mastered this unorthodox approach and won the gold medal.
Within a few years all high jumpers were using Dick’s method.